Imbusa as a return to the divine: Sexual desire, gender, and female ritual in Bemba mythology

Chammah J. Kaunda, Mutale Mulenga Kaunda

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Using nego-feminism, the authors explore the nexus of themes of sexual desire, gender, and the Bemba creation myth in the female initiation rite called imbusa. They also examine how the creation myth functions as a tool for understanding how contemporary African people’s search for justice around the issues of gender and sexual desire is inexorably linked to the notion of “return.” The article demonstrates how the idea of “return” could be a site of negotiating and subverting heteropatriarchal and anthropocentric terrains in the search for justice and healing around gender and sexual desire among Bemba people.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-43
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Feminist Studies in Religion
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
1 The research was funded by Yonsei University, Grant Number: New Faculty Grant Program [2020-22-0103]. 2 John S. Mbiti, African Religions and Philosophy (London: Heinemann, 1970).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2021 The Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Inc.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Religious studies


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